Saturday, July 15, 2017


THE BEGUILED is not a superhero film.

That's a huge plus this summer.

Nicole Kidman stars and that's another plus.

It's about a girls' school in the 19th century during the Civil War.

And an injured soldier (Colin Ferrel) who shows up.

Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning are also in the film.

It's got twist and surprises and Sofia Coppola as the director (and writer).

There's some 'outage' because Sofia eliminated an African-American character from the book but my girlfriend had read the book already and agreed that it was not a portrayal we needed, as a race, on the screen.  The other criticism is that the bi-racial character is played by Dunst but that didn't bother me either.

It's a really strong movie and one that you should check out if all the superhero flicks have left you burnt out.

As always Sofia's film has a unique look and perspective.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, July 14, 2017.   The Mosul Slog, officially over, continues.

 Day 269 of The Mosul Slog -- yes, it is still going.

People coming out of Mosul. I don't think we have any idea what a humanitarian tragedy this has been

And continues to be.

Replying to 
: Mass executions committed by |i forces in Western . Where are , and Western media?

War Crimes.

They haven't stopped and the US is aiding them.  This is in clear violation of the Leahy Amendment which demands the US pull all financial and military support for any country whose military does what is videotaped above.

Peter Beaumont (GUARDIAN) reports:

The Iraqi government has said it will investigate a graphic video that appears to show its soldiers killing an unarmed suspected Islamic State fighter by throwing him off a high ledge.
The video was reportedly filmed in the Mosul area where Iraqi troops have largely retaken a city once controlled by the extremist group, and comes amid mounting concern over claims of abuse committed by Iraqi soldiers and police in the battle for Mosul and in its aftermath.
[. . .]
The footage shows a man being held in a building and then dragged by soldiers across an open area to a ledge above a drop of at least 30ft where another body lies motionless.
It appeared alongside a second video that has also been circulating on social media which appears to show a man in Iraqi army fatigues gunning down an unarmed man kneeling in front of a car.

Iraq investigating horrific video of soldiers throwing tortured IS suspects from clifftop

Bill Van Auken (WSWS) reports:

Gun battles continued to rage and air strikes sent plumes of smoke rising over Iraq’s devastated second largest city Wednesday, more than 36 hours after the country’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, proclaimed victory in the nine-month US-backed siege of Mosul.
The top US commander in the US interventions in Iraq and Syria, Gen. Stephen Townsend, told Pentagon reporters via a video call from Baghdad that fighting in the city could go on for weeks.
“Make no mistake, this victory alone does not eliminate ISIS, and there’s still tough fighting ahead,” Townsend said. “There are still pockets of resistance in Mosul, holdouts, and hidden IEDs that will take weeks to clear.”
He added that there remained “a lot of mopping up and back-clearing to be done.”
These terms are military euphemisms for a continuation of the killing and destruction that has left tens of thousands of civilians in Mosul either dead or wounded and driven over 900,000 from their homes.
There are growing indications that the “mopping up” being carried out by Iraqi security forces and sectarian militias operating with the aid and guidance of US Special Forces “advisers” involves a campaign of revenge assassinations and terror against anyone believed to have collaborated with ISIS during the three years it controlled Mosul, as well as against the families of suspected ISIS members and supporters.
Iraqi security forces have been dragging away men and boys seeking to escape the city. The Washington Post described a “screening station” set up in an old fairground on the eastern bank of the Tigris River where “dozens of men sat in rows last week and waited for judgment.” The article continued: “Military intelligence officers in balaclavas sporadically moved among them to pull out an evacuee accused of working with the militants.” Videos have surfaced of the brutal torture of such suspects, who have been beaten with hammers and run over with tanks.

The Mosul Slog may have been declared over but it slogs on.

  Jul 12

There was fighting in the Old City of Mosul today, 3 days after victory was declared. Not over yet. By

These are the haunting images of Mosul's civilians, still fleeing the city despite Iraqi forces celebrating victory.

The Mosul Slog keeps slogging.  Tony Duheaume (AL ARABIYA) wonders what awaits Iraq

But as far as the acts of terror being committed by the Popular Mobilization Units are concerned, they cannot claim them to have just simply committed in the heat of battle, as their past history suggests otherwise. But considering some of these atrocities had taken place under the tenure of the more moderate Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi what would the prospects for future peace efforts be, should Nouri Maliki return to power any time soon.
Because the next time around, Maliki would be implementing his divisive, and pernicious racial policies, using a military fully controlled by Popular Mobilisation Unit commanders, with an agenda of ridding Iraq of any form of Sunni control. All of this backed by the Iranian administration, who are desperate to see a Shiite Islamic republic in Iraq, modelled after their own, and fully controlled from Tehran by their Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Sadly, such a prospect might not be too far in the distant future as Maliki is now campaigning to get his old job back and running neck-and-neck with the present incumbent prime minister. Should Tehran’s man Maliki win, Iraq would most certainly be returning to the dark old days when rampant death squads roamed the streets, a time when badly mutilated bodies turned up in profusion, dumped in ditches after being tortured in the secret dungeons spread across Iraq, set up by National Intelligence Service.
So, the death squads that had caused so much havoc for coalition troops during their occupation of Iraq, have now found themselves fighting alongside Iraqi troops, not only hitting back at advancing ISIS forces, but also responsible for committing atrocities against the innocent Sunni population.

With these militias better armed than before, with more control than ever, they are no doubt readying themselves to once again be pitted against civilians in the role of death squads, should their revered leader Nouri al-Maliki once more become prime minister.

Now for this . . .

Proud of who spent her 20th birthday with girls in Kurdistan / Iraq. Read more

It's the coward who visited Iraq only once during his eight year presidency.

Trying to grab some luster from a young woman's trip to Iraq.

She's a young woman.

Look what she's doing.

By contrast, Barack's floating around on David Geffen's yacht knobbing with Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen.

But he thinks he's in a place to Tweet about anything?

He oversaw the largest transfer of wealth in US history and the destruction of wages for the working class but he goes off to party on a yacht.  And then rushes in to Tweet about someone else doing what his candy ass should have been doing?

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